Program Overview

Students in the biochemistry major will find themselves taking part in small classes that encourage close and frequent interaction between students and professors, helping to create a stimulating learning environment.

Students in this major are offered abundant research opportunities both during the academic year and during the summer months. Faculty are engaged in research projects which lend themselves to undergraduate participation. In tackling the challenge of advanced and independent laboratory work, students begin to understand the nature of science and the scientific method. Participation in research by all students is strongly encouraged, as it builds a greater appreciation of the nature of their chosen field. The opportunity to perform independent research has motivated many students to continue their education either in an accredited graduate program or in a professional school in a number of medical fields.

Often, faculty and students jointly present their research results at national professional meetings, the Rider Independent Scholarly Research & Creative Activities Presentations (ISCAP) Day, or as written research papers submitted to scholarly journals.

The major has been approved by the American Chemical Society (ACS), which means that classes are nationally and internationally recognized as providing adequate experimental skills, oral and written communication skills, and knowledge that prepares students to be future professionals.

Curriculum Overview

Core chemistry classes include one year of general chemistry, one year of organic chemistry, one year of biochemistry, three semesters of general biology and courses in quantitative analysis, physical chemistry and genetics.

Students also must earn advanced course credits at the 300 level or above in chemistry, biochemistry, biology or behavioral neuroscience.  Independent research, BCH 490, is also a requirement of the biochemistry major.

Degree Offered:

  • B.S. in Biochemistry


Alexander Grushow, Ph.D.
Professor and Chairperson
Science Hall 336D

Program Website:  Biochemistry
Associated Department: Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry & Physics

Related programs:

Biochemistry Major Requirements

(71 credits)

CLAS General Education Curriculum
BIO 115Principles of Biology I4
BIO 116Principles of Biology II4
BIO 260Principles of Biology: Evolution, Diversity, and Biology of Cells4
BIO 260LPrinciple of Biology: Cells Lab0
BIO 265Genetics4
CHE 120Principles of Chemistry3
CHE 121Principles of Chemistry Lab1
CHE 122Intro to Chemical Systems3
CHE 123Quantitative Methods Lab1
CHE 211Organic Chemistry I4
CHE 214Organic Chemistry II4
CHE 250Quantitative Analysis and Statistics Methods4
CHE 305Physical Chemistry I3
BCH 325Biochemistry I3
BCH 326Biochem and Enzymology I Lab1
BCH 330Biochemistry II3
BCH 331Biochemistry II Lab1
BCH 490Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression3
Calculus I
Calculus II
General Physics I
General Physics II
Upper Level Electives5
Five credits of upper-level courses at the 300 level or above in either BCH, CHE, BNS or BIO (excluding extra credits in Independent Research and Study). At least two of the five credits must be connected to laboratory courses.
Total Credits71

Students wishing an ACS certified degree in Biochemistry must take CHE 315 Inorganic Chemistry and either CHE 316 Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory or CHE 325 Physical Chemistry Laboratory and two more credits of chemistry lab courses.  See Department Chair for more details on ACS certification.

Academic Plan of Study

The following educational plan is provided as a sample only.  Rider students who do not declare a major during their freshman year; who change their major; or those who transfer to Rider may follow a different plan to ensure a timely graduation.  Each student, with guidance from his or her academic advisor, will develop a personalized educational plan.

Plan of Study Grid
Year 1
Fall SemesterCredits
CHE 120 Principles of Chemistry 3
CHE 121 Principles of Chemistry Lab 1
MTH 210 Calculus I 1 4
CMP 120 Expository Writing 1 3
BIO 115 Principles of Biology I 4
BIO 115L Principles of Biology I Lab 0
NCT 010 Freshman Seminar 0
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
CHE 122 Intro to Chemical Systems 3
CHE 123 Quantitative Methods Lab 1
MTH 211 Calculus II 4
CMP 125 Research Writing 3
BIO 116 Principles of Biology II 4
BIO 116L Principles of Biology II Lab 0
 Semester Credit Hours15
Year 2
Fall Semester
CHE 211 Organic Chemistry I 4
CHE 211L Organic Chemistry I Lab 0
BIO 260 Principles of Biology: Evolution, Diversity, and Biology of Cells 4
BIO 260L Principle of Biology: Cells Lab 0
HIS 150 World History to 1500 3
Social Perspectives 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
CHE 214 Organic Chemistry II 4
CHE 214L Organic Chemistry II Lab 0
BIO 265 Genetics 4
BIO 265L Genetics Lab 0
HIS 151 World History Since 1500 3
Social Perspectives 3
Philosophical Perspectives 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Year 3
Fall Semester
BCH 325 Biochemistry I 3
BCH 326 Biochem and Enzymology I Lab 1
PHY 200 General Physics I 4
PHY 200L General Physics I Lab 0
CHE 250 Quantitative Analysis and Statistics Methods 4
CHE 250L Quantitative Analysis and Statistical Methods Lab 0
Foreign Language 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
BCH 330 Biochemistry II 3
BCH 331 Biochemistry II Lab 1
PHY 201 General Physics II 4
PHY 201L General Physics II Lab 0
Aesthetic Perspectives: Literature 3
Foreign Language 3
Elective Course 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours17
Year 4
Fall Semester
CHE 305 Physical Chemistry I 3
BCH 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 3
Advanced Biochemistry Elective Course 1-4
Aesthetic Perspectives: Fine Arts 3
Elective Course 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours13-16
Spring Semester
Advanced Biochemistry Elective Course 1-4
BCH 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression (Optional but suggested.) 1-4
Three Elective Courses 2 9
 Semester Credit Hours11-17
 Total Credit Hours for Graduation117-126

Courses and Descriptions

BCH 225 Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry 4 Credits

An introductory course describing the basic principles of organic chemistry and biochemistry as they relate to human metabolism and disease. The nature of the chemical structure and reactivity of organic functional groups such as alcohols, aldehydes, ketones, carboxylic acids and amines will be presented with biological processes in mind. The biochemistry of the macromolecules DNA, RNA, proteins, carbohydrates and lipids will be discussed leading in to a discussion of some of the more important metabolic pathways. This course is intended for science majors who do not take the full two semester sequence of organic chemistry and two semesters of biochemistry and desire a background in biochemistry. Non-science major students who have had one semester of general chemistry and one semester of biology may also enroll in the course. Three hours of lecture and one three-hour lab per week. Prerequisite(s): CHE 120, CHE 121; BIO 115 or BIO 117.

Corequisite(s): BCH 225L.

BCH 225L Introduction to Organic & Biochemistry Lab 0 Credits

This lab is a co-requisite and must be taken with the corresponding course.

Corequisite(s): BCH 225.

BCH 325 Biochemistry I 3 Credits

Outlines the chemistry and biological function of carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, nucleic acids, vitamins, and enzymes, and introduces enzyme kinetics and biological energetics. Degradative metabolic pathways of carbohydrates and lipids, and their controlled interrelationships are discussed in detail.

Prerequisite(s): CHE 214.

BCH 326 Biochem and Enzymology I Lab 1 Credits

The laboratory work illustrates techniques and methods essential to the biochemist. Methods for quantification of proteins, purification of enzymes and determination of their kinetic parameters, polarimetry, and structure proof of carbohydrates. The lab must be taken concurrently with BCH 325 by biochemistry and biology majors, but is optional for others.

Prerequisite(s): CHE 123, CHE 214.

BCH 330 Biochemistry II 3 Credits

Continuation of Biochemistry I. Includes molecular analysis of biological membrane structure and function and a molecular level analysis of information flow from DNA through RNA to proteins. Other topics include mechanisms of hormone action and an expansion on metabolic concepts.

Prerequisite(s): BCH 325.

BCH 331 Biochemistry II Lab 1 Credits

Methods of protein analysis, building on techniques and principles learned in BCH 326. Students will use bioinformatics and molecular biological techniques, including PCR, to harness and change protein sequence. They will implement modern protein purification techniques, develop enzyme essays, and perform equilibrium binding assays to investigate the relationships among protein sequence, structure, and function.

Prerequisite(s): BCH 326, BIO 117.

BCH 425 Medicinal Chemistry 3 Credits

A comprehensive description of the important principles of medicinal chemistry including principles of rationale drug design with synthetic strategies, mechanisms of drug actions, structure-activity relationships, the absorption, distribution, metabolism and elimination of drugs. Specific classes of drugs to be discussed include: anticancer agents, analgesics, anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, drugs acting on the nervous system and antibiotics.

Prerequisite(s): BCH 325 or permission of instructor.

BCH 490 Independent Study: Research and Creative Expression 1-4 Credits

Immerses the student in laboratory research. The student learns to organize material, use the literature, make precise measurement, and obtain reproducible data. If possible, the student will publish the results or present them at a scientific meeting.

BCH 491 Internship in Biochemistry 1-4 Credits

A supervised research experience in an approved organization where qualified students gain real-world knowledge and utilize their academic training in a professional environment. Placement may be in private, public, non-profit or governmental organizations under the guidance of a mentor. The mentor and student will have regular consultation with the departmental internship coordinator to assess the student’s progress. Normally, 50 hours of internship per credit is required. The grade for the course will be determined by the students’ overall performance in their research work, a research paper documenting their work with their internship mentor and an oral or poster presentation at the end of the semester.

Prerequisite(s): 2.5 GPA and permission of the instructor.